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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jan 23, 2007 11:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Pre 1978 or post Keith? Voice and playing.

Like there's any comparison!

Just listen to American Beauty and move on to the next thread.

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Poster: Healing Waters Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Its hard to believe that anyone would devalue the great years while Bruce Hornsby was on the keys. Out of the three decades of music those boys produced i think the early nineites was one of the greatest periods of time for their music. It was inspired and Bruce had a way of bringing Jerry back up to his pinnacle of ability. Each decade saw its transformations in sound and growth in their ability.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

His voice might have sounded better/ younger early on, but that doesnt mean he was a better singer. They all took vocal lessons and picked up some technique along the way. The sonic quality of Garcia's voice was on a 30 year roller coaster ride with peaks and valleys within certain weeks, probably. Remember- he wasnt the Fat Man until he was fat.

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Poster: deadn73 Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

sorry bad typing.. i meant after new years 77..not to sound annoyed but it gets old reading the same old shit about post 77 it blows my mind how someone considers themselves a head but has no respect for post 77 dead as if jerry cant play the guitar anymore...personally from a guitar players standpoint the solos that jerry plays in the 80's (while not as high energy as 66-69) involve more technical expertise IMO then he had in that era

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Speaking of Elvis/Jerry comparisons, there was one big difference: Elvis, knowing what memorabilia crazed folks would do after his death, died on his "throne" in a last futile attempt to protect that which held such importance (especially in his later years) to him. Jerry's throne however was left unprotected and, well, we know that sad tale.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10255549/

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2007-01-23 20:31:15

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Poster: acetboy Date: Jan 23, 2007 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

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This post was modified by acetboy on 2008-05-30 01:59:28

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2007-01-23 18:26:05

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Poster: Skippy61 Date: Jan 23, 2007 4:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Folks

All i can say is this, put on any show from any era and I will bet you before you have shut down your player there will be a gem on that show,you have never heard before and will love forevermore. I guess my point is this, 60's to 90's we all love some better than others but we can all agree on this i think. The world is a better place because the Dead existed and that we love them still despite ourselves.

Peace:Skippy

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2007 4:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

For a voice, without proper care and attention, the conclusions are obvious. It is one thing to say that we like this or we like that, but having followed this soul through from start to finish, one cannot conclude anything other than there was a loss...doesn't mean it's good or it's bad necessarily, but one must acknowledge the reality of the transition.

After 71 or so, live, Jerry just doesn't have it. One can debate, argue, etc., but listen, and it's there. No opinion about it. Strong words? No. Easily defensible. Tbis, I should hasten to add, has NOTHING, necessarily, to do with what we like or do not like.

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Poster: acetboy Date: Jan 23, 2007 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

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This post was modified by acetboy on 2008-05-30 01:58:55

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2007-01-23 18:26:17

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2007 4:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

I understand the reaction. I was there. But, if you listen to the shows from prior to 71 and then those post, the vocals go down hill...doesn't mean you can't enjoy it, appreciate it, even prefer it, BUT it can be evaluated from a purely technical standpoint, as Jerry himself stated, and that is that...harsh, upsetting, but not really difficult to defend. Again, has nothing to do with what we like or dislike.

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Poster: high flow Date: Jan 23, 2007 5:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

"BUT it can be evaluated from a purely technical standpoint..."

I disagree. It's art.

As I see it, Jerry was born to sing bluegrass and in 1991 his bluegrass voice was at it's peak.

His lilting renditions of the old shantys give me goose-bumps. Goose-bumps from his voice, not his guitar. With GD, it's always his playing that grabs me, not so much the singing. You know, the GD sound was so big, the boys were always maxed-out vocally. Like NY shows where they ALWAYS had to shout the lyrics. No room for quiet parts, so Dew was the perfect NYC ballad, not Stella. But I digress.

Point is, it's music and we don't all hear it the same way.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2007 5:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

I stand corrected. You are right to clarify that, HF. Thanks. Just a bit cranky tonight, folks...

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Poster: high flow Date: Jan 23, 2007 5:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Will - That's why GD makes for such good debate. Most of these topics/arguments have no real right or wrong solutions. The way GD approached each show keeps anybody from being absolute about any GD related topic. Does that make sense?

You cannot be wrong and I cannot be right, but we can both be enlightened. What matters is, I care what you think and I am willing explore the possibilty of seeing the same way.

HF

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jan 23, 2007 5:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

In terms of aging, I'm not talking about physical changes in writers. What Hembo and Jerry have in common with many artists is that they were young lions once. Anything was possible--there was nothing to live up to, no high bar to jump over. They could aim for the stars and so what if they missed? The great ones didn't miss.

But young lions who become too successful are their own toughest act to follow. And it must be very hard to keep up that energy night after night, especially when the audience is soooooo huge and the stage is so wide.

Yeah, getting old and suffering from carpal tunnel and lung issues and diabetes and drug abuse don't help much either.
The fact that the Dead--and Jerry--kept going that long is a testament to something that is more profound than any concert or song or era. With the Dead, the sum was always greater than the parts, but as the parts started to wear over time, the sum--IN MY OPINION--diminished. That's not unusual.

Hell, go listen to the Stones--it's sad to hear Mick's voice getting more and more tired. Sad and horrible.

Like a great boxer--like Ali--there is a time to quit before you are merely going through the motions. Even Jerry admitted that he often felt this way. Decay is inevitable.
When it sets in, you have to accommodate it, adjust to it; and the Dead did just that. That they weren't IN MY OPINION as powerful isn't as important as the fact the they WERE.
I don't think they became a circus act--despite some of the really off nights--but they did become, in part, a nostalgia act.

A lot of younger folks never got the chance to see them at such venues as the Fillmore with Pig and T.C. and Mickey. The intimacy of those days--the fire and youth--cannot be replicated.

Still--I am glad they stayed around, glad so many people younger than I am got to see them, got to experience the aura, got to get a taste. A friend of mine said, when Jerry died, that he had seen them the previous year. And he was very glad he did.

Indeedee.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2007 6:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Agreed; thanks for putting it better.

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Poster: acetboy Date: Jan 23, 2007 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

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This post was modified by acetboy on 2008-05-30 01:58:24

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2007-01-23 18:26:28

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jan 23, 2007 5:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

You're right about that...and given that, I was wrong to come on so strong. But, just kicking it around so we can better understand our own obsessions.

Thanks for listening/reading, my friend.

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Poster: deadn73 Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

well said dark hallow, i mean what do u expect... of course his voice was better in the early days, of course he played with more energy on a more consistent basis..i dont understand old heads sometimes u really expect things to be just as vibrate as the first time?
its basic human nature that as u grow older the energy is not going to be the same and after so many shows and years and drugs etc it might take a toll you think? plus the band backbone is creativity and improvistion, you think its as easy and thrilling the first time as it was the ninehundreth time? gimmie a break

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

As a Ph.D. Lit, I can tell you that most (not all) writers reach a peak and then decline in the quality of their art--unless they give into the wisdom of age and adjust their altitude. In other words, trying to recapture the triumphs of youth is folly; learning to capitalize on experience and age in another. Hemingway blew his head off because he couldn't write the Sun Also Rises anymore. Vonnegut hasn't written anything in years. T.S. Eliot, on the other hand, used the sum of his years to produce masterworks later in life.

My personal (read: personal) opinion of the Dead is as subjective as can be. They were the soundtrack to my own youth (wasted as it no doubt was)--high times and all So that leans me towards the Pig days. I like the mean wildcatting style of the psychedellic cowboy rockers.

I have a hard time with the later incarnations because I find them to be more inconsistent than the early forms. Not that 1969 0r even 1972 is flawless. But I think youthful energy plays a role here. On the other hand, after playing Me and My Uncle a couple of hundred times, it has to get stale. I remember when asked by Dave Letterman if they knew they were going to have a bad show before they got on stage, Bobby replied that he sometimes knew that he at least would have a bad show when he got up the morning of that show.

Night after night, town after town, hotel after hotel, cavernous stadium after cavernous stadium, marching along as much to feed the "family" as to play music must inevitably take its toll. Hence--to me--a lot more inferior and inconsistent shows. Still, I can be bowled over by a poignant Peggy-O or a Scarlet--Fire or even a 1994 Here Comes Sunshine. That last song he sang, Black Muddy River, is so absolutely haunting, foretelling his own death.

Sometimes Jerry's creaky old cigarette destroyed voice can move me in its wisdom and age as much as it did in the 70s.
Sometimes it just sucks.

I think of Dylan--god his voice is painful these days--but he is still an excellent writer and his words still shine through like glowing coals.


I do not and cannot be persuaded to like the changes in guitars and approaches to playing in the later years--not so much because I like the old gnarly sound and the speed and synchronicity of he jams, but because I just don't like that sound. Too smooth and polished, too laid back, too facile, and too many errors FOR MY TASTE.

Still, again, I will listen to anything they do and enjoy the little gems I find along the way. Even if it's the 2,000th Me and My Uncle.

But not the 2,001st.

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Poster: ksantilli Date: Jan 23, 2007 1:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

While I agree with your "night after night, town after town" statement I believe Jerry TRIED to give it his all each night. Obvioiusly,(sp?) some where better than others. Please refer to the interview in Las Vegas on youtube, where he talks about his playing and what he feels the audience expects from him. I think he talks about why it was important to him to provide a quality show each night.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

I'd buy your analogy if you were talking about football players or skiers or something, but I somehow think that the physical changes Garcia and other singers/players go through affect their singing and playing moreso than the physical changes writers go through change their ability (let alone inclination) to write.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

True, the effects of aging on vocal chords and manual dexterity are USUALLY much more pronounced than changes to mental acuity. Well, its all a matter of personal opinion in the end.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Well said. Nicely put, can't argue with that one.



DAMN!

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Poster: deadn73 Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

plus any of head that thinks they just fell apart all of sudden on new years 78 is fooling themselves, yes it was better in the good ol days... what isnt ? get over it

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

I have always maintained that if the Dead died in 1978, they wouldn't have such a loyal following in 2007. To some extent, the period we heard them will remain a favorite. But just because someone doesn't like this or that period doesn't mean they are devaluing another. I think one needs to be familiar with a particular period to truly evaluate it, and one must be familiar with multiple periods to fairly compare them.


That having been said: I plead ignorance post 1977--really post 1973. I have a head full of 1967--1972, and I love that stuff. I've just never clicked enough with the later stuff to get into it.

But I will never put down another person's opinion, except in jest.

Unless you like Vince.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

ouch. poor vinny.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Okay: next up: Fat Vinny or . . . .

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Hey, do yourself a favor and take a little time to sample some of the later stuff, you just might be surprised by what you find. Different? Sure. As good? I think so. But like you say, you must look a little deeper that later you get, but it can be found. Give it a shot.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Jan 23, 2007 12:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

As I said: I have--and I've found pleasant surprises. I like a lot of 1989-90, and some of 1991-93.

I used to play the fool out of one of the Greek shows from 1985 that a student gave me; and I always grabbed the new l.p.s hot off the press. I liked them all--though not as well as the earlier ones.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Jan 23, 2007 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry

Comparison? Not really. Jerry's sound (vocal and playing) underwent numerous subtle changes over the years, with different "eras" having distinct characteristics. For me, each period has its strong points. The "earlier" years had energy and spontaneity reflective of his age, while the "later" years showed more mellowing and the emergence of a richer tone similar to a fine wine. While there was unargueably a loss in overall quality, especially in the last few years of his life, there were times when a power and depth showed through that could only be found in that era. True, those "moments" became fewer and farther between as he aged and his health waned, but they were there for those patient enough to look for them. To write off ANY period of Jerry's career as inferior to another is, in my opinion, nothing short of a crime. Were there more exemplary examples of firey solos and spacey jams in the early years? Of course, but the later years contain some of the most moving solos and gritty vocal work, capable of taking your breath away, that Jerry ever produced. Do yourself a favor be willing to listen to it all, you might be surprised.

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Poster: pnc Date: Jan 23, 2007 3:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis--I mean Jerry


just listen to the 3rd "i guess it doesn't matter" in the 9.18.87 Dew, and it holds up SDH's argument/view, with which i happen to generally agree. there is nothing formulaic (as perhaps ghostofapig might suggest), but rather the intensity and depth of of an artist/man's feeling welling over...perhaps something that would not have been possible in a '69, or even '77 Dew (did i just write that)... I think this is also what ghostof a pig suggests, much of which i agree with as well. (also, that all of this is incredibly subjective). of course, short of maybe day job, jerry never had a 'me & my uncle'...

ghost of a pig, do you teach? just a professional curiosity...